Business, Society, and the Environment

James E. Post

in The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584451
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Business, Society, and the Environment

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  • Business and Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Business Ethics


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This article addresses how the relationship between business, society and the environment has evolved, with each system affecting the others. It reviews the effort to shift from a traditional “dominion of nature” paradigm toward a radically different “sustainability” paradigm. Effecting this change requires a new definition and understanding of the role of the corporation in society. The features of this new model are proposed. The interplay of science, markets, public policy, and ethical reasoning helps in the understanding on the way business and society interpenetrate and influence one another in relation to the environment. The Millennium Development Goals Project placed vital environmental goals in a framework of other human goals. The number of signatories to the Global Compact or other codes remains small relative to the total number of economic enterprises. Environmental issues are prominent in the economic marketplace, public policy arena, and the marketplace of ideas.

Keywords: business; society; environment; sustainability; corporation; science; markets; public policy; Global Compact

Article.  8315 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business Strategy ; Business Ethics

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